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Former FBI Counterterrorism Agent: “All Digital Communications” and Phone Calls are Recorded



Former FBI Counterterrorism Agent: "All Digital Communications" and Phone Calls are Recorded

In a CNN interview about the Boston Bombings investigations, a former FBI counterterrorism agent admitted a startling (yet unsurprising) fact: “all digital communications” are recorded and stored. All of them. All phone calls, all e-mails and all social media interactions. According to him, there is definitely a way of retracing and listening to any phone call made on US soil. While most Americans ignore or deny this reality, the shaping of the USA into a heavily monitored police state is complete. Here is part of the CNN interview.

The aftermath of the Boston Bombings caused the American police state to rear its ugly, repressive head. However, since U.S. citizens are still  traumatized from the bombings, they do not oppose it. From the imposition of martial law to the admission of illegal spying of U.S. citizens, “terrorism” is being used to justify illegal, invasive and unconstitutional actions by law enforcement.

Here’s a great article from The Guardian about the true extent of surveillance in the U.S.

Are all telephone calls recorded and accessible to the US government?

A former FBI counterterrorism agent claims on CNN that this is the case

The real capabilities and behavior of the US surveillance state are almost entirely unknown to the American public because, like most things of significance done by the US government, it operates behind an impenetrable wall of secrecy. But a seemingly spontaneous admission this week by a former FBI counterterrorism agent provides a rather startling acknowledgment of just how vast and invasive these surveillance activities are.Over the past couple days, cable news tabloid shows such as CNN’s Out Front with Erin Burnett have been excitingly focused on the possible involvement in the Boston Marathon attack of Katherine Russell, the 24-year-old American widow of the deceased suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev. As part of their relentless stream of leaks uncritically disseminated by our Adversarial Press Corps, anonymous government officials are claiming that they are now focused on telephone calls between Russell and Tsarnaev that took place both before and after the attack to determine if she had prior knowledge of the plot or participated in any way.

On Wednesday night, Burnett interviewed Tim Clemente, a former FBI counterterrorism agent, about whether the FBI would be able to discover the contents of past telephone conversations between the two. He quite clearly insisted that they could:

BURNETT: Tim, is there any way, obviously, there is a voice mail they can try to get the phone companies to give that up at this point. It’s not a voice mail. It’s just a conversation. There’s no way they actually can find out what happened, right, unless she tells them?

CLEMENTE: “No, there is a way. We certainly have ways in national security investigations to find out exactly what was said in that conversation. It’s not necessarily something that the FBI is going to want to present in court, but it may help lead the investigation and/or lead to questioning of her. We certainly can find that out.

BURNETT: “So they can actually get that? People are saying, look, that is incredible.

CLEMENTE: “No, welcome to America. All of that stuff is being captured as we speak whether we know it or like it or not.”

“All of that stuff” – meaning every telephone conversation Americans have with one another on US soil, with or without a search warrant – “is being captured as we speak”.

On Thursday night, Clemente again appeared on CNN, this time with host Carol Costello, and she asked him about those remarks. He reiterated what he said the night before but added expressly that “all digital communications in the past” are recorded and stored:

Let’s repeat that last part: “no digital communication is secure”, by which he means not that any communication is susceptible to government interception as it happens (although that is true), but far beyond that: all digital communications – meaning telephone calls, emails, online chats and the like – are automatically recorded and stored and accessible to the government after the fact. To describe that is to define what a ubiquitous, limitless Surveillance State is.

There have been some previous indications that this is true. Former AT&T engineer Mark Klein revealed that AT&T and other telecoms had built a special network that allowed the National Security Agency full and unfettered access to data about the telephone calls and the content of email communications for all of their customers. Specifically, Klein explained “that the NSA set up a system that vacuumed up Internet and phone-call data from ordinary Americans with the cooperation of AT&T” and that “contrary to the government’s depiction of its surveillance program as aimed at overseas terrorists . . . much of the data sent through AT&T to the NSA was purely domestic.” But his amazing revelations were mostly ignored and, when Congress retroactively immunized the nation’s telecom giants for their participation in the illegal Bush spying programs, Klein’s claims (by design) were prevented from being adjudicated in court.

That every single telephone call is recorded and stored would also explain this extraordinary revelation by the Washington Post in 2010:

Every day, collection systems at the National Security Agency intercept and store 1.7 billion e-mails, phone calls and other types of communications.

It would also help explain the revelations of former NSA official William Binney, who resigned from the agency in protest over its systemic spying on the domestic communications of US citizens, that the US government has “assembled on the order of 20 trillion transactions about US citizens with other US citizens” (which counts only communications transactions and not financial and other transactions), and that “the data that’s being assembled is about everybody. And from that data, then they can target anyone they want.”

Despite the extreme secrecy behind which these surveillance programs operate, there have been periodic reports of serious abuse. Two Democratic Senators, Ron Wyden and Mark Udall, have been warning for years that Americans would be “stunned” to learn what the US government is doing in terms of secret surveillance.

Former FBI Counterterrorism Agent: "All Digital Communications" and Phone Calls are RecordedStrangely, back in 2002 – when hysteria over the 9/11 attacks (and thus acquiescence to government power) was at its peak – the Pentagon’s attempt to implement what it called the “Total Information Awareness” program (TIA) sparked so much public controversy that it had to be official scrapped. But it has been incrementally re-instituted – without the creepy (though honest) name and all-seeing-eye logo – with little controversy or even notice.

Back in 2010, worldwide controversy erupted when the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates banned the use of Blackberries because some communications were inaccessible to government intelligence agencies, and that could not be tolerated. The Obama administration condemned this move on the ground that it threatened core freedoms, only to turn around six weeks later and demand that all forms of digital communications allow the US government backdoor access to intercept them. Put another way, the US government embraced exactly the same rationale invoked by the UAE and Saudi agencies: that no communications can be off limits. Indeed, the UAE, when responding to condemnations from the Obama administration, noted that it was simply doing exactly that which the US government does:

“‘In fact, the UAE is exercising its sovereign right and is asking for exactly the same regulatory compliance – and with the same principles of judicial and regulatory oversight – that Blackberry grants the US and other governments and nothing more,’ [UAE Ambassador to the US Yousef Al] Otaiba said. ‘Importantly, the UAE requires the same compliance as the US for the very same reasons: to protect national security and to assist in law enforcement.'”

That no human communications can be allowed to take place without the scrutinizing eye of the US government is indeed the animating principle of the US Surveillance State. Still, this revelation, made in passing on CNN, that every single telephone call made by and among Americans is recorded and stored is something which most people undoubtedly do not know, even if the small group of people who focus on surveillance issues believed it to be true (clearly, both Burnett and Costello were shocked to hear this).

Some new polling suggests that Americans, even after the Boston attack, are growing increasingly concerned about erosions of civil liberties in the name of Terrorism. Even those people who claim it does not matter instinctively understand the value of personal privacy: they put locks on their bedroom doors and vigilantly safeguard their email passwords. That’s why the US government so desperately maintains a wall of secrecy around their surveillance capabilities: because they fear that people will find their behavior unacceptably intrusive and threatening, as they did even back in 2002 when John Poindexter’s TIA was unveiled.

Mass surveillance is the hallmark of a tyrannical political culture. But whatever one’s views on that, the more that is known about what the US government and its surveillance agencies are doing, the better. This admission by this former FBI agent on CNN gives a very good sense for just how limitless these activities are.

– Source: The Guardian

You’ve read correctly, “AT&T and other telecoms had built a special network that allowed the National Security Agency full and unfettered access to data about the telephone calls and the content of email communications for all of their customers.” This was revealed in 2007 yet most people are still calling those who claim that the US has turned into a police state “conspiracy theorists”.

The 4th Amendment clearly states:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

The U.S. Constitution, created specifically to prevent the United States from turning into an oppressive dictatorship is under attack. From all sides.

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People everyday should just start sending out random texts with words like bomb, gun and any type of weapon in then so they fill up with mass amounts of texts that probably get screened and it will waste there time having to deal with them all if everyone starts to do it, it won't matter that the real threats might get overlooked then cause its not like they will stop an attack anyways


I always knew BigBro was watching and that's cool. Peace is far more volatile than war. I, none of us, should expect UncleSam to allow us to roam around running our mouths; without monitoring which SOB might have a subversive inkling. Do you hate your government? Do you hate your country? Then YOU are my enemy.


Ok this is not surprising BUT I have a horrible feeling that all tele-communications are put into place as the "antichrist" or "messiah" is watching us and tracking us. Just like the role of God as God is all seeing and all watching.


Illuminati can suck my enlightened ball sack.


Thanks to VC for another very important article. I knew the old Echelon system routed all communications through Menwith Hill in the UK for the US and UK intelligence services but this was in the late 1980's. Technology publicly available has of course totally transformed modern life and the way people communicate and distribute information and so has computer and analytical technology. This explains why immense data centres are being constructed in the US and Europe to record all data. The ruling elite are also planning global depopulation and one aspect is the Georgia Guidestones, VC has a great article with good analysis on this website. A book review that explains what the ruling elite are and why they intend to replace the existing human population with reptilian human hybrids can be found by looking online for:'wemustknow wordpress reed rfid'. See also ' nwoplans transcript dunegan'. It had been said the eyes are the window's of the soul and the souls of ruling elite and the rich, famous and powerful are in many cases reptilian, more can be round by looking on YouTube channels: 'frequency fence', 'pocholo986', and for those who like gore/action/violence sequences 'hollywood reptoidz'. All these channels give… Read more »


My mom has been working AT&T, she worked at the office that was working with the government but on a different floor. At the time the address of this building was 666 Folsom street in SF. Since AT&T has left the building the number of the address 666 has been changed…..weird


I can't find the post where they were discussing pictures of people in the Civil War looking like celebrities today. Several ieas were introduced I think time travel and a lot of them just shrugged it off as a person resembling other people. What struck me as odd and I didn't think of it at the time of reading the article was Hugh Jackman starring in Wolverine and the opening sequence almost mirrored some of the words being discusses. It mentioned time travel as well and how he was captured in pictures back in the Civil Wr as well. His brother in Wolverine was also like him. Well Hugh Jackman also played in another time travel movie called Kate & Leopold and the actor that played his brother was the one that did the time traveling. I just find that there may be more to tht than just a brush off of the subject

Bean Head

I knew but I didn't know that they were allowing all types like emails and facebook chats! The cell phones I knew of but I read that for each phone co. like At&T they have different time periods of storing the dig. data but this article never said that the NSA has a back door to all the dig data and stores it on their comp.! Wow no wonder cell phones are made now to have the internet on them. If anyone can answer this pls do: Its the land lines safer than the cell phone or internet? I think our options are to find out which kind of communication system is the least spied on and use that one! What a headache!


Recent Associated Press article "Gov't obtains wide AP phone records in probe" states that the government "counter terrorism" has secretly gathered months of phone calls from the press. They are trying to squash our rights!

Chris R

Search "Room 641A"


This argument is false:
If one has nothing to hide, then what's the fuss?

Should society remain as it currently does, then all would be well, I suppose.
But we all know that society's pendulum swings….

One year, you are on your way to synagogue in Hamburg, and by the next year, you are on your way to the camps.

One year, you dabble in a new and interesting philosophy, the next, you are on the McCarthy blacklist, with career and personal reputation in tatters.

In 1991, you are living in harmony with your neighbour in Sarajevo, and by 1992, you are turning him in to authorities: google cbc radio bosnia-special-then-and-now/

What and who is innocent and law abiding today, is outlawed and deemed as terrorism and terrorists tomorrow.


I believe nonsense like this was predicted in the Bible.

1 Thessalonians 5:3 (KJV) For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

The "safety" part reminds me of Big Brother. Have to spy on you to keep you safe!

But notice what happens to these spooks….

They should also take note of Revelation 19. That is their fate. So I'm not worried, TPTB will be dealt with.


I knew they did this. Not to sound crazy but I always had a feeling people knew everything from cell phones cameras and all


This is nothing guys – wait till the economy collapses and at some point there is going to be no "money", i mean "paper money" NO MONEY – Its all going to be done electronically, which we are slowly but surely getting there. Thats the reason why we have Chip and Pin


What f-----g bullshit. They don't give a single s--t about our rights anymore.


Remember guys………..The "Elite" have technology that is ultra advanced and are generations ahead of us. The only time when we hear about the implementation of these new technology programmes/devices is when "THEY" make an announcement of it. Just because they dont or have'nt as yet, doesnt mean it doesnt exist…….I mean whats the deal with AREA 51?, building military aircraft that no-one has ever seen and creating technology devices???? hmmmmm, its been a secret for decades but whats the REAL REASON?


Lol the thought of someone or somethin sorting out the amount of phone calls taken place in one day let alone a year by even one person would be an astonomical amoun of work. And where is all this storage comming from? Whose payin for it? This just makes me laugh.


Interesting…the original article in the Guardian, has suddenly been removed from their website.


Never mind it is back. I guess my computer had a glitch as it said article not found a bit ago.


It doesn't surprise me. Reminds me of J.J. Abram's television show 'Person Of Interest' where everything is recorded on a super advanced surveillance machine. Social networking just makes it easier, surveilling ourselves. Where will this all end?


Guys and VC – Watch the 1999 film Enemy of the State, when you watch it now you will just go Wooooow, Thanks again VC of course


I watched it and had discussions with lots of people. Back then they called me crazy and stopped talking to me because thst was the era of the 2000 bug. They laughed at me because I said the world would end as we know it. So they we're thinking nuclear explosion not a digital explsion.



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